Accident Douglas DC-3A-197 NC16074, Sunday 17 October 1937
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Date:Sunday 17 October 1937
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DC-3A-197
Owner/operator:United Airlines
Registration: NC16074
MSN: 1914
Year of manufacture:1936
Fatalities:Fatalities: 19 / Occupants: 19
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:32 km S of Knight, WY -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Cheyenne Airport, WY (CYS/KCYS)
Destination airport:Salt Lake City Municipal Airport, UT (SLC/KSLC)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A Douglas DC-3A passenger plane, operating United Air Lines Trip 1, was destroyed when it crashed into slope of Haydens Peak, WY on the Humpy Ridge. All 19 on board were killed.
Trip 1 originated in Newark, NJ at 08:00 EST, and was scheduled to terminate at Oakland, CA at 01:18 PST. Several intermediate stops were planned. The flight departed Cheyenne Airport, WY (CYS) at 18:26 MST.
Adverse weather conditions existed along the route to Salt Lake City Municipal Airport, UT (SLC). Trip 1 encountered light to moderate snow and light rime ice. About 21:00 local time, the airplane was over mountainous terrain and flew into the side of a mountain at an elevation of about 10.000 feet. The wreckage was located the following morning.

It is the opinion of the Investigating Board that the probable cause of this accident was a combination of the following three factors:
(1) Static conditions encountered in the last portion of the flight which rendered the reception of radio range signals unintelligible;
(2) The continuation of the flight into mountainous country at an altitude below the higher mountains without the aid of ground visibility or radio signals to definitely identify position;
(3) A change in the weather caused by the approach of an unpredicted cold front.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAB
Report number: final report
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


CAB Report


  • 2nd worst accident in 1937
  • 282nd worst accident of this aircraft type
  • worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Revision history:


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